The major threat to national security are the the widespread cases of terrorism in the North East and the Militancy in the Niger-Delta which must be tackled and addressed by all concerned.
The Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who made the disclosure said solutions must be proffered to tame the increasing religious intolerance championed by some Islamic Sects in the North and the Niger-Delta Militancy towards a peaceful country.
Governor Tambuwal made the disclosure at a Capacity Enhancement Training for Security Operatives in Two Selected Communities in Nigeria, jointly organised by the ECOWAS, European Union (EU), Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM-SALW), and UNDP.
The governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Buhari Bello-Kware, wondered why the North, which used to be accommodating to peoples of other regions and religion has become a hob of insecurity because of religious intolerance
“The question now is: why is it difficult for us to be our brothers’ keepers, why can’t we respect one another’s views or beliefs? The reasons; are not far-fetched. Its is because we have become increasingly intolerant and ignorant as a result of our refusal to seek knowledge about our beliefs or religions, thus making us ready tools in the hands of people who use religion or ethnicity for personal gains and perhaps, equally out of poverty and joblessness,” he said.
It is an indisputable fact, he said, that in the 60s, 70s and even in the early part of the 80s, Northern Nigeria is reputed for its peaceful coexistence between the different ethnic and religious groups.
He said: “Religious violence, anchored on the recalcitrance of some Islamic Sects in the North and the Niger Delta Militancy in the South have been the major threats to national security in Nigeria since 199 transition from military to civil rule.
“The problem occurs most of the time in the heartland of Northern Nigeria-most especially in Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and Adamawa States. In the last few years, thousands of people have been killed, villages and towns destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.”
He however assured of continued support and assistance to security agencies in the state to perform their jobs satisfactorily. He further assured that the “Government and people of Sokoto State will do everything humanly possible to ensure that you succeed on the daunting task of ensuring the prevalance of peace and security of our state in particular, and the nation at large”.
To this end, the Chairman, PRESCOM, Amb. Emmanuel Imohe has called for the concerted efforts from all security agencies and border communities towards prevention of illegal flow of SALW into the country.
Imohe who was represented by a member of PRESCOM, Mr. Funsho Alabi, said that the aim of the training was to ensure closer collaboration amongst the relevant agencies and border communities.
“We are because of the prevailing security challenges in and around our borders. So we have decided to come to the border communities and encourage collaboration between Security Agencies to forestall illegal migration and smuggling of ilicit weapons
“Therefore, with this dialogue amongst the security agencies, we will send a feedback to the relevant authorities on the challenges of these agencies on how to improved their performance,” he said.
In the same vein, Mr. Fredrick Ampiah, who is the Regional Team Lead/Coordinator ECOWAS/EU SALW Project in West Africa Region( Niger, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Co’te d’ Ivoire and Nigeria) under the management of UNDP Nigeria, called for effective control of SALW in the country.
Ampiah who was represented by the National Security Officer, UNDP Nigeria, Col. Williams Alao (rtd), said that the objective of the training was to “set the stage for further planned future activities aimed at assisting the government of Nigeria in eradicating /controlling the illegal proliferation of SALW which we are all aware is threatening the main fabric of our villages/communities lives and Nigeria as an indivisible entity”.
While the main objective of this particular programme is to enhance the capacities of border security operatives to ensure that they are up to speed with current border security challenges and how to resolve them; he said, it is also hoped that this avenue will provide a suitable forum for fruitful interaction among participants in charting a future course of action that will support the PRESCOM in achieving the ultimate aim of ridden Nigeria of illegal stock piling of illegal arms.
He assured that “ECOWAS/EU under the UNDP managed Small Arms and Light Weapons Project shall continue to support the Nigeria and the PRESCOM in capacity building and in other ways to eradicate and control the illegal proliferation of SALW in Nigeria.
“This Project is an integral part of the ECOWAS/ EU Small Arms Project owned by ECOWAS with the support of the European Union, and in this case; UNDP Nigeria”.
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